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Old Jan 28th, 2016, 09:26 AM   1
Pregnant (Expecting)
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How long before your preemie could nurse at the breast exclusively?

Hello all. Hoping you guys will have some advice!

My daughter was born at 36 weeks and had lung issues. She was in the NICU for 10 days and is now home and healthy - woohoo! But breastfeeding wasn't established well in the NICU. I've been pumping like a madwoman to keep my supply up and haven't had to supplement with formula yet, but we are mostly feeding with bottles. The NICU staff told me to only put her to breast 2-3 times a day for only ten minutes at a time, as breastfeeding expends a lot of energy and both tires her out and burns excess calories.

So, my question is... have any of you been in this situation before? The demands of feeding her with a bottle and then spending 30 more minutes pumping are driving me crazy. I'm so anxious for her to be able to feed at breast exclusively. How long did it take your LO's to be able to do so?

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Old Jan 29th, 2016, 11:07 AM   2
Mum (Mom)
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I had two premature babies, 1 at 28 weeks and 6 days and the other at 35 weeks. Both of them were fed my expressed breast milk their entire stay in the NICU (60 days and 3 weeks). The day they were discharged I began exclusively breastfeeding them. They had never had the breast before, but both of them took to it well and I tossed the bottles. I fed them often, especially my earlier baby because he was a sleepy little thing, but they did fine.

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Old Jan 29th, 2016, 14:54 PM   3
Mum (Mom)
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My 29 weeker would feed for about 40 minutes, with a shield, he'd fall asleep before he was full, wake up 20 mins later and start again, we did this from about 38 weeks through until about 12 weeks past term, when I cracked and just started expressing and bottle feeding all feeds because I had a 2 year old getting 0 attention as we were always feeding. Do you have a breastfeeding support group nearby?

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Old Feb 4th, 2016, 06:23 AM   4
Mum (Mom)
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In nicu I was constantly my baby needed formula too. Not to keep breastfeeding too long etc. Once homei ditched the lot and exclusively feed him myself. There was about a week where he didn't gain so well but my health visitor was very supportive and after that week he did great.

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Old Feb 6th, 2016, 22:20 PM   5
Pregnant (Expecting)
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I had my first at 36 w & in same situation then you now. I started feeding with bottle & as he got stronger the midwife advised to first feed with bottle, then put him on breast to suckle or eat more. A month after born he exclusively was breastfeeding. But always very little & my milk never came in so I was on meds to increase flow.
Was it exhausting? He'll yes. He's never fed eagerly (3 yrs and still underweight) and it felt like a struggle. It was worrying & in my case it really made bf an unenjoyable experience. I'm not going through the same hell if this pregnancy ends preterm. I've found some excellent formula alternatives that I will switch to if breastfeeding has to start like that again (Hipp formula, Holle Formula, Natures one whey formula). I've already have these in cupboard, just in case. I intend on bf, but nothing set in stone this time.

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